Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Emergency – Truck Safety, we need your help right now!

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The Senate and the House versions of the Transportation Bill will be going to conference, probably this week. The Senate version allows for 33 foot double trailers to drive across the country. This policy change didn’t come from any safety studies, didn’t have any hearings, and isn’t even anything that most truck companies are requesting. It’s something that a few companies, notably FedEx and UPS, have managed to get attached to an important bill.

The Teamsters representing many drivers, law enforcement, safety advocates, environmental groups, biking organizations and pedestrian groups oppose longer double trailers. Thirty-three foot double trailers will require 22 feet longer to stop, and will require a 6 foot wider radius to make it around a corner. The back trailer won’t track the same as the front trailer when turning.

Here’s part of the email I got tonight from The Truck Safety Coalition:

URGE SENATORS TO VOTE YES ON WICKER MOTION TO INSTRUCT CONFEREES TO REQUIRE SAFETY STUDY OF DOUBLE 33s IN TRANSPORTATION REAUTHORIZATION BILL

November 9, 2015

The House and Senate multi-year transportation reauthorization bills contain several provisions that deteriorate truck safety and many missed chances to improve safety. The process of reconciling these two bills falls to the appointees on the Conference Committee who will be meeting soon.

Prior to Conference, Senators and Representatives may offer instructions to conferees, which must be approved by a majority of the respective chamber. Senator Wicker will be offering a Motion to Instruct [Senate] Conferees to include language that would require the Department of Transportation to study the safety impacts of Double 33s before requiring most states to allow these longer trucks on their roads. It is critical that this vote passes.”

SO…Senator Wicker is going to offer a motion that the DOT study the safety of double 33 foot trailers. It has to be voted on by the Senate. Below is a list of Senators that need to be contacted and asked to vote YES on the Wicker Motion on the multi-year transportation reauthorization bill. If you see one or both of YOUR senators, could you please call them or email them tomorrow (Tuesday) and ask them to vote YES on the Wicker motion?

I’d appreciate it very much.

Here’s more of the email:

“Please take the time to call and email Senators’ offices below, and urge them to vote YES on Senator Wicker’s Motion to Instruct Senate Conferees, which would require the Department of Transportation to study the safety impacts of Double 33s before federally mandating these longer, more dangerous trucks.

*PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD OR COPY & PASTE THE CONTENTS OF THIS EMAIL, please use your own words to make the points.

TALKING POINTS:

· DOT recommended no change to truck size and weight due to insufficient data.

· Double 33s will be 10 feet longer than double 28s; they will be 91 feet in length.

· Longer trucks make merging and passing more difficult.

· Double 33s have:

o A six foot wider turning radius

o 33% increase in low-speed off-tracking

o A 22 foot longer stopping distance (nearly the length of two cars).”

Here’s the list of Senators that need to be contacted:

Remember: Urge Senators to Vote YES on Wicker Motion to Instruct Senate Conferees to Require Safety Study of Double 33s in Multi-Year Highway Bill THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE TO DEFEAT DOUBLE 33s!

CONTACT FOR SENATE OFFICES:

Mark Kirk (IL)

· 202-224-2854

· Jeannette_Windon@Kirk.Senate.gov

Ron Johnson (WI)

· 202-224-5323

· Lydia_Westlake@ronjohnson.senate.gov

Pat Toomey (PA)

· 202-224-4254

· Daniel_Brandt@toomey.senate.gov

Kelly Ayotte (NH)

· 202-224-3324

· Adam_Hechavarria@ayotte.senate.gov

Lisa Murkowski (AK)

· 202-224-6665

· Kate_Williams@murkowski.senate.gov

Rob Portman (OH)

· 202-224-3353

· Pam_Thiessen@portman.senate.gov

Thad Cochran (MS)

· 202-224-5054

· Adam_Telle@cochran.senate.gov

Richard Burr (NC)

· 202-224-3154

· Natasha_Hickman@burr.senate.gov

David Perdue (GA)

· 202-224-3521

· Pj_Waldrop@perdue.senate.gov

Bill Cassidy (LA)

· 202-224-5824

· Chris_Gillott@cassidy.senate.gov

Dan Coats (IN)

· 202-224-5623

· Viraj_Mirani@coats.senate.gov

Joni Ernst (IA)

· 202-224-3254

· Ryan_Berger@ernst.senate.gov

Deb Fischer (NE)

· 202-224-6551

· Stephen_Higgins@fischer.senate.gov

Jeff Flake (AZ)

· 202-224-4521

· Chandler_Morse@flake.senate.gov

Johnny Isakson (GA)

· 202-224-3643

· Jay_Sulzmann@isakson.senate.gov

John McCain (AZ)

· 202-224-2235

· Joe_Donoghue@mccain.senate.gov

Tom Tillis (NC)

· 202-224-6342

· Ray_Starling@tillis.senate.gov

Michael Bennet (CO)

· 202-224-5852

· Riki_Parikh@bennet.senate.gov

Maria Cantwell (WA)

· 202-224-3441

· Pete_Modaff@cantwell.senate.gov

Amy Klobuchar (MN)

· 202-224-3244

· Travis_Talvitie@klobuchar.senate.gov

Gary Peters (MI)

· 202-224-6221

· David_Weinberg@peters.senate.gov

Bernie Sanders (VT)

· 202-224-5141

· Michaeleen_Crowell@sanders.senate.gov

Debbie Stabenow (MI)

· 202-224-4822

· Matt_Vankuiken@stabenow.senate.gov

Martin Heinrich (NM)

· 202-224-5521

· Jude_Mccartin@heinrich.senate.gov

Angus King (ME)

· 202-224-5344

· Chad_Metzler@king.senate.gov

Joe Donnelly (IN)

· 202-224-4814

· Andrew_Lattanner@donnelly.senate.gov

Heidi Heitkamp (ND)

· 202-224-2043

· Tracee_Sutton@heitkamp.senate.gov

Tim Kaine (VA)

· 202-224-4024

· Mary_Naylor@kaine.senate.gov

Mark Warner (VA)

· 202-224-2023

· David_Hallock@warner.senate.gov

This is what a double 33 looks like.

A double 33 parked in DC.

A double 33 parked in DC.

Think about it on the road with your family. Then call you Senator. If your Senator is NOT on the above list, it’s OK for you to call them anyway. They need to know this is important, and that the majority of the American public doesn’t want longer, heavier trucks on our roads.

Help me keep these trailers off our roads.

I appreciate all your efforts. I can’t begin to tell you how much.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

5 thoughts on “Emergency – Truck Safety, we need your help right now!

  1. Thank you Dawn for the info to make it easy for each one of us. I wrote my senator. I hope others take the time to either write or call.

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  2. you know – yesterday while at the store I noticed a truck in the parking lot and it seemed rather longer than normal – I have seen a few of these around lately – I paced it out and just the trailer by itself was 45 feet long – now my feet are not a foot long so I am guessing it was probably 40-42 feet long – but it seems they are sneaking in longer single trailers too

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  3. I didn’t get to call, but I’m assuming my senators made the smart vote (they usually vote on the side of sanity). I’ll check up on them.

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    • They voted late this afternoon. The Wicker motion passed 56 to 31. That means that the Senate has sent a strong message to the Conference that they would like to have a study done. It doesn’t guarantee one will be done, and it doesn’t pull the 33s out of the bill..but it’s a step in the right direction.

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  4. Thanks for the e-mail, Dawn, that prompted me to e-mail our two Michigan senators. Glad this motion passed. ANY step in a good political direction these days feels like VICTORY!

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